Tag Archives: narcissism

How Narcissists Make You Feel Dysfunctional

Narcissists seem to have a “gift” for making their victims feel that they are the problem in the relationship, that they are the ones who are dysfunctional, not the narcissist.  Often, they are so talented at doing this, a victim is completely baffled as to how it happened.  This post will explain some ways narcissists accomplish this.

Narcissists love gaslighting.  Gaslighting is the systematic tearing down of a person’s sanity.  Narcissists will deny having done something, deny the incident happened as it did, find a way to blame the victim for the problem & more.  Constant gaslighting tears down a person’s ability to trust their own memories, feelings, perceptions & yes, even sanity.

Narcissists either imply or say outright that their victims are crazy.  My mother used to tell me often, “You need help.”  It was accompanied by a pitying expression.  She was implying I was in dire need of psychological help, yet, never got it for me.  Why?  Because she knew I was sane.  I, however, had doubts for most of my life about my sanity.  After all, no one would say such a thing to their own child if it wasn’t true, I thought.

Narcissists project their faults onto their victims.  Narcissists view others through a very distorted lens.  Titus 1:15 says, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to the corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure; both their mind and their conscience are corrupted.”  (AMP)  One aspect of this is accusing their victims of the very things that they themselves do, even when there is no evidence of the victim doing anything of the sort.  They often accuse their victims with such certainty, the victim may believe the accusations are true.  There is one good thing about projection.  It can be useful in learning what the narcissist is really up to.  The narcissistic husband who claims his wife is unfaithful is most likely having an affair.  The narcissistic mother who accuses her child of lying is a lair.  Listening to what the narcissist accuses you of can give you a great deal of insight into what they are truly like.

Narcissists love the silent treatment as a weapon.  In my late teens, my mother & I argued constantly.  One of her favorite ways to hurt me was to give me the silent treatment.  I would beg her to tell me what was wrong, & she either refused to answer or would say, “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you!”  At the time, either scenario was devastating.  Saying nothing showed me I wasn’t worth her time or energy to speak to.  Saying she wouldn’t tell me if I didn’t know what was wrong made me feel crazy, stupid & ashamed for not knowing what egregious sin I had committed.

Narcissists lack self awareness.  Rather than question that maybe, just maybe, they might be the problem in their relationships, they blame all relationship woes on other people.  If you aren’t aware of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can be quite easy to believe that the narcissist is right, & you are at fault for their problems or the problems in your relationship.

Narcissists are provokers.  In other words, narcissists will do whatever it takes to push their victims to the point of rage so they can use that rage to prove to the victim that the victim is crazy, abusive, irrational or anything else.  Since the narcissist stays calm while the victim is clearly upset, it’s easy for the victim to believe what the narcissist says at this point.

Narcissists will say that they forgive you, even when you have done nothing wrong.  By saying this, they are implying that you are the problem in this situation, & they are very good & kind people to forgive you for the awful things you have done.

Learning about these tactics can help you to protect your mental health, & not fall for the narcissist’s lies that you & you alone are the dysfunctional one in the relationship.

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Just So Everyone Knows..

I’ve decided to take a hiatus from writing books for a while.  Dealing with my mother’s estate is a lot of work, & with my mental & physical limitations, also excessively stressful.  Writing is a lot of work, so I don’t feel I can write & deal with that at the same time.  Or, if I could, I doubt I’d do either all that well.  So, writing books is going on the back burner for a bit.

I’m still going to keep up with this blog & my YouTube channel though.

Since I have some really wonderful readers, I know you’ll understand & I thank you so much for that understanding.  xoxo

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Setting Simple Boundaries With Narcissistic Parents

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Mother’s Day, 2019

Those who are of the “But that’s your MOTHER!!!  She wouldn’t hurt you!” mentality, please leave quietly now.  This post is for those who are suffering through this day due to having a narcissistic mother.  No doubt it will irritate you, & those for whom this post is written don’t want or need to hear any judgmental comments.  Thank you.

Now that that’s out of the way….

For those of you with narcissistic mothers, I know this is one of the worst possible days of the year.  For many weeks prior, the message of loving mothers is everywhere.  “She’s your mother- she would do anything for you.”  “She loves you more than life itself!”  “Don’t forget to idolize your mother today!!”  When your narcissistic mother has tried to kill you, either physically or mentally, there aren’t exactly a lot of warm feelings associated with Mother’s Day.  How could there be?

Many people at least are sympathetic to our pain, even if they can’t understand it.  God bless these people!  Then there are the others.  Those who say shaming things like, “But that’s your MOTHER!”  Often these people are narcissists themselves, flying monkeys who help their narcissist abuse their victims.  Others are people who have suffered abuse & refuse to acknowledge their pain.  Their goal is to shut down anyone who faces their pain.  Witnessing someone face their pain reminds them of their own & makes them feel cowardly for not facing theirs.  Rather than make healthy choices, they opt to shut down healthy people instead.

Understanding things like this can help to take some of the pain out of their heartless comments, because it proves that the comments are about the dysfunction of the person saying these things.  However, it’s still going to sting a bit, even knowing that.

Being raised by a narcissistic mother is painful.  There are ways to cope, however.

I firmly believe it’s necessary to grieve.  Grieve for the fact you didn’t have a good childhood.  Grieve because your mother never has been or will be a loving mom.  Grieve what you missed out on by your mother not being a healthy, functional mom.  Grieving such things helps you to accept your situation & heal.

On Mother’s Day, if you have children, spend time with them when possible.  Enjoy your family & celebrate this gift God has given you.

Don’t forget to acknowledge those wonderful women who were like mothers to you.  I had a friend I called my adopted mom.  She was about 20 years older than me, & a wonderful lady.  Kris was nurturing, kind, loving, a natural mom & a devoted Christian.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until after she died that I realized I should have celebrated her on Mother’s Day.  Don’t make the same mistakes I did!  If you have a wonderful mom figure in your life, wish her a happy Mother’s Day.  Give her flowers or a card.  Take her to lunch.  Do something together to show her how much you appreciate her.

If you absolutely must deal with your narcissistic mother on Mother’s Day, before you see her, pray.  Ask God to show you what you should do.  He will help you to know the best ways to cope!

Don’t forget, you also have the right to set limits on your time spent with your mother.  Don’t spend the entire day with her if you don’t want to.  Set aside an hour or two for her & no more.  If you know you’ll have trouble leaving when you want to, arrange something to do so you have to leave her at a certain time.

Take care of yourself on Mother’s Day & every day, Dear Reader.  You deserve to be loved & cared for, especially by yourself.  xoxo

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Why People Choose To Believe Narcissists Over Their Victims

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About Understanding Narcissists

I recently read a comment on a post on Facebook where someone mentioned how some people “waste their time” trying to understand why a narcissist behaves as they do.  I’ve seen comments similar to this often, although said in different ways.  “Who cares why they do what they do?  They only cause pain & suffering!”  “They’re evil, that’s all you need to know about narcissists.”

I have a different perspective on this topic as I’ve mentioned before & felt that maybe it was time to mention it again.

When you understand the motivations of the narcissistic person & what is behind them, it can help you to remember you aren’t the problem, you aren’t overreacting or crazy & the narcissist is the problem in the relationship.  While that sounds like common sense, as most victims know, in the midst of narcissistic abuse, reminders like that are invaluable.  Narcissists do their best to convince victims they are the problem, & sadly, are often successful in their efforts.

Another plus about understanding narcissists is when you do, you clearly can see that you have done nothing to deserve what this person has done to you.  You understand that this person has been manipulating & abusing you, & that you were doing only normal things to do under such abnormal circumstances.  You did what anyone would do if treated as you were treated.

You also may begin to feel some pity for the narcissist because you understand just how badly damaged this person is.  This too can be a good thing, because it will make you want to pray for them.  I must warn you though, it can be easy to get out of balance in this area.  I did this with my late mother in-law.  I noticed once that after my father in-law had snapped at her, she was especially mean with me during the rest of my husband’s & my visit.  I thought maybe this was simply how she coped since she had no healthy coping skills.  As a result, I let her mistreat me for a while without complaint or setting any boundaries.  It didn’t take me too long to realize that this wasn’t helping her.  She was still miserable, & she still was hurting me.  Nothing good came of this.  I allowed myself to feel too much pity for her, & as a result, she treated me even worse than usual.  Learn from my mistake!  Keep your emotions in balance.  Feel pity for this person & let it motivate you to pray for this person.    At the same time though, remember to keep your boundaries in place.  Just because someone has been through some serious problems, that doesn’t mean they have the right to be abusive.  There is no excuse to abuse!

I realize what I’ve said in this post doesn’t work for everyone.  Some folks will read this & immediately know it won’t help them at all.   I don’t want you to think there’s something wrong with you if you feel that way.  I am one who has been helped a great deal by understanding the narcissists in my life, & I wanted to help others think about this as a possible useful tool for them.

If you do feel that understanding the narcissist in your life can help you, I have some tips.

Learn what you can about this person’s childhood.  Childhood forms who we become as adults.  Chances are, you’ll find some hints as to why this person is as they are today.

Learn everything you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I don’t believe there is one non-narcissist that can completely understand narcissists, but even so, learning what you can about it will be extremely helpful.

When you decide to learn about the person & the disorder, don’t get out of balance.  This mission doesn’t need to become an obsession, since that would be very unhealthy for you.  Take frequent breaks where you think of anything but the person or narcissism.

Most of all, pray.  Ask God to help you learn, not to obsess & to teach you creative & effective ways to cope with this person.  Ask Him to help you to pray for them, too.  After all, you may be the only person willing to pray for them.

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More About The Death Of My Mother

I’m really exhausted as I write this post, so I’ll just apologize in advance if it’s a bit hard to follow.

The time since my mother was found dead on April 19th has been pretty bizarre to say the least.  I still feel like I’m functioning in a state of shock, but it’s dissipating some anyway.  God’s enabling me to get through it all & do what I need to do, which is a miracle in itself.

Today (I’m writing this on Saturday), has been a tough day.  I found a note from one of my mother’s relatives from about a year ago.  Apparently my mother wanted advice & this person wrote back about how she felt about the situation & what she thought should happen.  Ugh..the narcissism!  This shouldn’t be surprising since she also called me when my father was dying & let my phone ring for 10 minutes straight one evening, which is why I blocked her number as soon as my phone stopped ringing.  Anyway apparently my mother had asked this person for advice & that was her purpose of writing the letter to my mother.  In it, she mentioned something about how she needed to get a lawyer because “you know Cyndi won’t help you.”  As I read it, I  somehow could feel the hate for me coming off the page.  Not a nice feeling to say the least.  Truly what this person thinks of me means nothing to me but it did get me thinking about something that made me mad.

My father stopped speaking to his father a year or two before he died.  It was over some changes Granddad made to his will.  My father didn’t even attend his funeral.  Not one single person said a peep about this.  Not.  One.  Yet, I stopped speaking to my parents & relatives lost their minds, like the one who showed up at my mother’s burial to give me grief.  Why?!  How does any of this make any sense?!  My father & his had a difference of opinion & no contact was fine.  My parents were detrimental to my physical & mental health yet I’m supposedly wrong for protecting myself from that.  UGH!

I’ve also been going through paperwork trying to find the information I need to take to my mother’s attorney soon.  I have found a LOT of stuff, & not just what I need.

My mother wrote out pretty much everything.  To do lists, notes about broken things that she had repaired & more.   I found some letters she wrote to my father, telling him how miserable she was.  (I have yet to read them other than enough to let me know what the paper was.  It feels too personal & not my business.)  She wrote out her feelings when she was 40 years old about how awful her life was & how she had no idea what to do about it.  Heartbreaking!  After finding that, I found a list of things she wrote that she had to do after her mother died.  In it, she mentioned how she “had to give me money from her inheritance.”  She didn’t sound amused.  Well, the reason she had to do this was because I’d found evidence that she stole my inheritance.  I threatened to go to the police unless I got my money.  I also found out she made a rather significant investment without my father’s knowledge several years ago.  Today, I found a text on one of her old cell phones from someone I don’t know who told my mother to stop calling her as they had nothing to talk about.

Things like this have been such an emotional roller coaster!  I feel sorry for my mother, then get mad at her, feel confused because I apparently knew little about her.  Often I feel these things within the span of only a few minutes.

Aside from venting, I do have a point in sharing this.

Dealing with the death of a narcissistic parent is incredibly difficult.  It’s challenging, confusing & complicated.  But, if you are in the position that I am of having to settle that parents’ estate, it gets even more challenging, & I don’t just mean the legal & financial aspects of it.

Whatever your relationship with your narcissistic parent, when that parent dies, I would guess you’ll find out you didn’t really know your parent at all, as I have.  That can set off confusing & conflicting emotions.  I keep feeling angry.  It seems my mother had good qualities, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to see them.  Why??  That makes me angry because it’s utterly unfair.

I also realized apparently my parents were proud of me to some degree.  I truly had no idea.  If this happens to you, I’d bet you’ll feel the way I have about it.  I wonder why they didn’t tell me & it hurt me that they didn’t.

The death of a narcissistic parent also shows you who your friends really are & aren’t.  I am blessed with wonderful friends who understand how awkward & painful the situation is.  But, there are also others who think I’m the scourge of the earth for not having a relationship with my parents, such as the awful relative who showed up unexpectedly at my mother’s burial solely to harass me.  The bad ones aren’t entirely unavoidable, unfortunately, so you most likely will have to deal with at least one or two at some point.  Remember to avoid these people.  Walk away, hang up the phone, block their phone number & email.  Heartless people like this thoroughly enjoy kicking a person while they’re down, & you do NOT need their abuse on top of everything else.

And lastly, Dear Reader, remember that no matter what, you can’t be fully prepared to deal with the death of your narcissistic parent.  You can try your best to be & learn all you can, but even so, there are going to be surprises along the way.  When things get hard, remember to turn to God.  Let Him strengthen you & comfort you.  He will get you through this as He is doing for me!  xoxo

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When Saying No Makes You Feel Guilty

Saying no without guilt is a huge problem for many adult children of narcissistic parents.  After all, we were raised to think of others & ignore our own needs, feelings, wants, etc.  That made us believe we must blindly do for others & completely ignore ourselves.  When you say no & have that belief, saying no makes you feel incredibly guilty.  In fact, you usually just don’t say no so you can avoid the awful guilt.

Unfortunately, this is basically only putting a bandage on the problem, it isn’t fixing it.

To avoid that “I can’t say no” guilt, you have to get to the root of the problem.  That means getting rid of the faulty believe that you’re not allowed to say no, or if you do, that makes you wrong, bad, selfish, or whatever other awful things your narcissistic parent said you were.

To do this, as usual, I recommend praying.  Ask God to show you where the problem first started with you.  Pay attention to what He shows you.  It probably will be a memory coming back of something you didn’t pay much attention to at the time.  Think about it.  Tell God how that made you feel & ask Him if that’s the truth- are you selfish, bad, stupid or whatever you felt you were in that memory.  He’ll tell you the real truth & chances are, it’s absolutely nothing like what you felt.  (To learn more about this, see Craig Hill’s book “The Ancient Paths.”  That’s where I first learned about this technique.)

You also need to pay attention to your thoughts.  If the opportunity comes up for you to say no & you feel guilty, ask yourself why?  Do you have a very valid reason for that guilt?  (probably you won’t!)  Remind yourself it’s simply old programming done to you by your narcissistic parent- it’s not true, & it’s wrong.  Remind yourself of what God told you when you prayed about that guilt.

You also need to improve your self-esteem.  As  you heal from narcissistic abuse, your self-esteem naturally improves.  Even so, maybe you need a little extra work in that specific area to help you alleviate that false guilt.  If you feel that’s the case, ask God to show you what to do & enable you to do it.  Study what the Bible has to say about you.  I have a list of positive affirmations from the Bible on my website if you’d like to check them out.  (That’s available at http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com)  Also, pay attention to what people say to you.  People don’t complement other people for no reason!  If someone pays you a complement, that person means what they say.  Enjoy it.

Remember, Dear Reader- you have the right to say no without feeling guilty.  There is nothing wrong with saying no sometimes!

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My Mother Has Died

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Closure With A Narcissist

People often talk about closure & how beneficial it is.  They encourage victims of narcissistic abuse to get closure somehow, such as by saying good bye to their dying narcissistic parent even if they have not spoken for years.  What these people fail to realize is closure in the normal sense of the word is impossible with narcissists.

Closure is when someone knows & understands why a relationship ended.  Maybe one person even apologized for mistreating the other person, an explanation was given, good byes were said, even some tears shed.  This  scenario just cannot happen with narcissists.

Narcissists do NOT want to give their victims closure.  They prefer to leave them suffering, wondering why things were as they were.  Often, their adult children spend their entire lives wondering, “Why couldn’t Mom love me?”  Even if Mom knows, there is no way she would admit the truth to her child, because her reasons might make her look less than perfect.  Since appearances are so important to a narcissist, they will refuse to admit any wrong doings or even simple shortcomings.

Normal closure is impossible with narcissists, but that doesn’t mean a form of closure isn’t possible.  It absolutely is.

If you can surrender the hope that one day the narcissist in your life will change or show genuine remorse, you can have closure with that person.  I know this probably sounds like giving up, & maybe in a sense it is, but I believe it is a healthy move.

Everyone knows that most narcissists don’t change unless it is to behave even worse.  As long as you cling to the hope that maybe this time will be different or one day he or she will see the light & change their terrible, abusive behavior, you aren’t getting closure.  In fact, you’re going to be miserable & constantly disappointed.  You are tying yourself to this person with your expectations.  Why do this?  You’re only causing yourself pain.

Aim for closure with the narcissist in your life.  Giving up the hope & expectations of change will do you a world of good.  It may not be closure in the traditional sense of the word, but it still is helpful & healing for you.

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Stop Beating Yourself Up For Making Mistakes

When you have survived narcissistic abuse, escaped it & began to heal, you will think a LOT.  You’ll think about the things you endured, & wonder how you survived.  You’ll also think about things you did while in the midst of the abuse or even after you first escaped it.  This can be extremely difficult, because chances are, you’ve done many things you aren’t proud of.

That is certainly something I’ve experienced.  When I look back at my young adult life, it’s just embarrassing.  I met my  ex husband just before I turned 17.  He was very pushy about getting me to date him, & proposed 3 months after we met.  I went along with whatever he wanted, against my mother’s demands, because I didn’t think any other guy would ever want me.  This desperation is so embarrassing now.  I didn’t even find him physically attractive- I just figured I should grab him since no one else would want me.  I sneaked around to be with him even knowing my mother most likely would find out & scream at me about it as she always did.  I later married him even though everything in me was saying it was a huge mistake & I shouldn’t marry him.

Looking back at that situation is embarrassing.  Humiliating, really.  I have a hard time believing now that I’m that same person.

Do you have a situation like that in your life, Dear Reader?  I’m guessing you do.  I think we all do.  I want to tell you today that you have nothing to be ashamed of!

Growing up with a narcissistic parent (or two), you learn a lot of terribly dysfunctional beliefs.  Those beliefs will play a part in the things you do until you learn that they are bad, & you replace them with healthy beliefs.  This means you’re going to do some things you aren’t necessarily proud of, like me getting involved with my ex husband.

When you remember those times, rather than shaming yourself, think about who you were at that time.  You were a dysfunctional, abused person.  Naturally you’d make bad choices.  How could you not if you didn’t know better?

It’s OK that you made mistakes.  We all do, especially when given such a horrible, dysfunctional start in life.  Forgive yourself!  Stop beating yourself up!  How could you expect to make wiser choices when you simply didn’t know any better?

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How Childhood Trauma Affects Adults

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Miracles Are Happening!

Since my mother died, I’ve been concerned about her Salvation or lack thereof.  I’d been praying for her for years now, but saw no evidence of any change. I asked God for a sign last Saturday if she was saved. No signs happened & I was discouraged.

Monday, hubby & I went to the funeral home to settle things.  The guy who owns the place is a Christian.  In his office, I saw a small model boat on a bookshelf.  The boat’s name was Bailey.  I thought that was interesting.. something felt strange though when I noticed that.  I couldn’t put my finger on that feeling.

We had a nice long chat about our faith.  As he was talking, he suddenly said, “The Lord is putting something on my heart. He wants me to tell you your mom accepted Him.”   I had told no one I’d asked for a sign, but that was a big one!

A few minutes later, he said, “He wants me to tell you too, that everything is going to work out somehow.  Trust Him.  Everything is going to be just fine.”  I left feeling a lot better than when I arrived.

And, I decided against a funeral.  The people my mother was emotionally the closest to are physically far away.  They’re also in failing health or elderly or both, so they won’t be able to attend.  She only wanted a graveside service anyway, but still, there isn’t a point in having that for only a few people.  My mother was practical so I believe she’d have been fine with my decision.  Family members, however, I didn’t think would be.  I was afraid of telling them of this considering how awful these people treated me when my father died.

Thank God, among all these awful people, He blessed me with a couple of good ones.  One of my cousins said he would take care of telling my father’s family what happened & tell them they are NOT to contact me.  So far, not a peep…

As for my mother’s family, I remembered I had an email for one of her cousins.  That was the only contact information I had, so I used it.  We’ve been talking & she’s been quite helpful.  She’s dealt with my mother’s side of the family, so I haven’t needed to.  The best part is when I explained there wouldn’t be a funeral & why, she said she thought it was the best solution since so many of her friends & family wouldn’t be able to attend.  Whew…

God is truly working in this situation & blessing me beyond description right now.  My mother’s salvation being the biggest blessing of all!

I hope this encourages you, Dear Reader.  All things truly are possible with God!  If my mother could turn to Him, that alone is proof all things are possible!

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Differences Between The Silent Treatment & No Contact

Many people don’t seem to realize that the silent treatment & no contact are very different things.  As a result, many people shame victims who implement no contact.  They call victims immature, spoiled, unreasonable & more, saying victims are pouting or trying to punish their abuser when the truth is, abusers are the ones who are being immature, unreasonable & trying to punish their victims by using the silent treatment.

No contact isn’t done to punish or hurt anyone.  It is done because a victim has tried & tried to make the relationship better yet nothing has improved.  It’s a desperate, last ditch effort to protect a person’s mental & physical health by escaping an abusive person.  Any person can take only so much before it affects their health.

No contact is also permanent.  There is no going back for the victim who has settled on no contact as their best option.  That is partly why so much serious consideration goes into it.  Contrary to what many folks believe (primarily abusers & their flying monkeys), almost every single person who has implemented no contact in their life did so only after months or even years of a lot of thought & prayer.  It’s not a spur of the moment decision done in the heat of anger.

This also means that victims don’t want their abusers trying to contact them in any way.  They don’t want calls, texts, emails, etc. in some pathetic attempt to lure or scare the victim into returning to the relationship.  Many abusers seem to think their victims want this type of harassment & it will win their victims back, but nothing could be further from the truth.  When a person goes no contact, it’s because they want NO CONTACT, period.  It isn’t some attempt to get the abuser’s attention.  Abusers often think this is the case, because that is what they want to accomplish by not speaking to someone.

The silent treatment is done on the spur of the moment.  Abusers are spontaneous people, & not in a good way.  Anything a victim says or does can make an abuser decide in an instant to use the silent treatment.  Or, a victim doesn’t have to say or do anything.  Abusers don’t exactly have the most integrity in the world.  If they want silent treatment drama, they certainly aren’t above creating it by inventing some imaginary slight from their victim.

The silent treatment is done to manipulate & control.  The goal is to make the victim feel so insecure & badly that he or she comes crawling to the abuser, apologizing profusely & being willing to do anything to make it up to the abuser.  The abuser rarely tells the victim what awful sin he or she committed, but instead makes the victim guess.  This makes the victim easier to control & more willing to try harder.  I remember my mother using the line, “If you don’t know what you did, I’m not going to tell you.”  Not exactly a healthy or useful way to cope with conflict.

The silent treatment is also done to punish victims.  When you aren’t aware of what the silent treatment is all about, it can be devastating!  I remember my mother giving me the silent treatment countless times my entire life.  It was a horrible feeling when my own mother wouldn’t speak to me or even tell me why.  In fact, my mother once stopped speaking to me for 18 months several years ago.  Why she did that, she never would say.

The silent treatment is also temporary.  It ends when an abuser gets their way or becomes bored with it.  A victim knows when it’s over too, because the abuser contacts them acting like nothing happened that was out of the ordinary.

There is one last big difference between the silent treatment & no contact.  Victims grow accustomed to the silent treatment.  After enduring it so many times, it stops upsetting them.  Abusers are always shocked by no contact, no matter how horribly they treated their victims.  And ironically, the ones who seem the most shocked by no contact are the ones who repeatedly used the silent treatment.

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What To Watch Out For With Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse

 

 

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My New Project

I recently had an idea.  I am going to create a series of small books that focus on only one facet of narcissism & narcissistic abuse at a time.  Each book will be maybe 1/4 the size of my regular book & naturally much cheaper.  I think this is a unique way to get information out there & hopefully it will help raise awareness too.

I’ll be releasing a few in the near future,  I’m thinking maybe 3 or so, & I’ll post about it when that happens.  I don’t want to release a series that contains only one book, yanno?

When the books are available, they will be available on my website at:

www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

And also at my ebook publisher’s website at:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

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Dealing With Guilt Trips

One very popular weapon in the narcissistic arsenal is guilt.  Covert narcissists in particular are very fond of using guilt as a means of control.  It’s understandable it’s such a common weapon considering how very effective guilt can be.  It also is unfair & even cruel.

So how can you cope when your narcissistic parent uses guilt trips?

First, pray.  Ask God for wisdom & discernment so you understand when guilt is being used on you & ways to cope with it.

You also need to recognize what is a guilt trip & what isn’t.  You need to know when someone is saying something to manipulate you or to help you to change & improve yourself.  Statements like, “It hurt my feelings when you said/did….” can help you.  Statements that simply make you feel guilty like, “After all I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me?” however aren’t to help you, but to control you.

You also need to be aware of the fact narcissistic supply is at the root of every single thing a narcissist does.  Guilt trips are a part of that.  Being able to control someone via guilt provides supply as does seeing that person upset about the guilt.  The more you allow the guilt trips to work on you, the more the narcissist will use them on you.  The best thing you can do is to pretend not to notice the guilt at all when you’re in the narcissist’s presence.  Later, when away from her, vent to your heart’s content of course, but when in her presence or even on the phone with her, pretend you didn’t notice a thing.  If she realizes guilt trips don’t work on you, she’ll stop using them since she sees they aren’t effective.

Don’t justify yourself or your actions.  If you do, you’re only making yourself look guilty, which could mean the narcissist will get meaner.  Probably my most successful interaction with my late covert narcissist mother in-law involved guilt from her.  She wanted me to do something for her one day but I had plans.  Granted, I could’ve changed them, but I didn’t want to.  Not for someone who hated me & treated me so poorly.  She kept trying to find out what my plans were.  She said things like, “You sure must have something important to do if you won’t do this for me.”  “I guess you’re doing something for your parents since you won’t help me…”  Rather than explain my plans (which weren’t her business!), I ignored her.  Since I didn’t tell her, she got mad, but couldn’t be mad at me without looking foolish in front of her husband & mine.  By not justifying my actions, I protected my privacy, avoided more nastiness from her & she never tried to guilt trip me again.  In fact, I found the entire thing funny because her behavior was so ridiculous.  Much better to laugh than to be angry or hurt!

Remember, if you have done something wrong, you should feel some guilt since it will help you to improve your behavior.  However, if you haven’t done anything wrong, then do NOT allow the guilt trip to work on you.

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What To Watch Out For With People Who Write About Narcissistic Abuse

 

 

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Thinking Of Confronting Your Narcissistic Parent?

During the course of healing from narcissistic abuse, you may want to confront your narcissistic parent.  You may want to let her have it, to tell her she’s abusive & evil, to tell her although she tried, she didn’t destroy you & many other things.  In your fantasy of doing this, she breaks & apologizes for all of the hurt she has caused you.  She says she wants to change, & to make it up to you for all of the damage she has done.

Unfortunately this is a very unrealistic expectation.

Narcissists don’t admit to any wrong doing on their part.  They often do one of three things- either blame the victim for making them do what they did, say it happened an entirely different way or deny it ever happened in the first place.  As a result, often confronting the narcissist is more damaging to the victim than if they don’t confront.

Confrontation is certainly your choice.  You have every right to call out an abuser on her abusive behavior.  However, you need to have realistic expectations on how the situation may happen for it to be a healthy choice for you.

If you confront your narcissistic parent, will it help you to get it all out to her?  Will it help you to call her out on what she has done even if she denies it or blames you?  If so, then confrontation is a good option for you.

However, if you expect that your narcissistic mother will suddenly have a moment of lucidity, then accept full responsibility for her actions, genuinely repenting of what she has done, you are setting yourself up for serious disappointment.  In fact, that disappointment may be devastating for you.

Probably around 10 years ago, my father went through a phase of complaining even more than usual about his & my mother’s marriage to me.  I hate that!  That is emotional incest & abusive!  I don’t want or need to know about their marriage problems, yet both of my parents have dumped them on me my entire life.  One day when I saw him alone, I finally decided enough was enough.  I was tired of changing the subject to get him to stop complaining.  I had to tell him that he was hurting me, & it needed to stop.  So I did.  I told him those words- “It hurts me when you complain to me about your marriage & about Mom.  Please stop it.  Find someone else to talk to.”  He responded by saying, “Oh ok.. but just this one more thing…” He went on to complain about her for 45 more minutes until he left my home!  (Yes, I timed it!  I was curious how long it’d go on.)  I ended up even more hurt than I was originally, because at this point, he knew he was hurting me yet did what hurt me anyway.

When considering confronting your narcissistic parent, please consider it long & hard.  Pray about it too, & ask God to show you what you should do & if you should confront, how you should do it.  I would hate to see you hurt, Dear Reader, so please do those things before you confront your narcissistic parent!  xoxo

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Some Red Flags That Actually Sound “Christian” At First

I have the comments on my blog set up so that anyone who has commented previously can post comments with no problem.  Anyone who hasn’t, their comments must be approved by me.  Their comments are emailed to me & I either can select “approve” or do nothing & the comment sits in my “pending” folder until I approve or delete it.  It’s a wonderful feature!  It helps me eliminate spam or even abuse by my “lovely” family.  It also helps me to eliminate the garden variety narcissist, flying monkey or invalidating person, which is the point of this post.

So, a few years back, I posted this post about how I was angry with my narcissistic mother.  If you read the post, you’ll see that the reason for my anger was valid & even normal.  The comments on the post show several people understood & validated my feelings.  One person apparently did not agree with my feelings when reading the post a few months ago.  This person hadn’t commented on any of my posts before, so it was a comment I had to review to approve or not before it would post.  I read it & didn’t approve it.  Only recently did I realize it was still in my “pending” folder.  I approve almost every comment so there’s rarely a need to visit that folder, which is why this comment sat there for so long.

Upon realizing said comment was still in my pending folder recently, I was surprised.  I figured I’d deleted it long ago.  Oops.. yea, my memory is really bad.  My first thought when I realized it was still there was to just delete it, but then I realized this could be a good teaching tool.  Why not use it as such before deleting??

Without further ado, here is the comment….

I do not know you, or your family all. I found you through a search asking, “how a Christian can honor our narcissistic parents”. And the first article with that title I thought was kind of helpful—but I got a whiff of anger there. So, I went to your next article. And I just have to say that I’m not really seeing a Christian response. I am seeing a very human response. And I understand that response, believe me! My friend, I don’t believe you are walking in the victory I was hoping to find. I believe you are very bitter, and very angry. This blog post shows, now I’m being very honest here, because I do not know you, and I’m coming at this from the outside, you wrote the article—-and yet I do not believe that you are portrayed very favorably in this article! Not showing your mother the common courtesy of answering her greeting, does not seem Christlike. The Bible tells us to bless our enemies. Jesus said to bless our enemies and turn the other cheek. In that context I believe we must choose not to be offended, period. We answer to God for what we do in this life. Not for what was done to us. You are angry, (a sin according to Jesus himself) at everyone in this story, and bitterly vindictive. In your eyes you are the only faultless victim. We know what that thinking reflects when those around us act in that manner. Your whole life, certainly all your writing, seems to revolve around a passive/aggressive “outing” of all our family’s faults. In studying narcissism, I have read that this is a symptom of the disorder. When we become a Christian and except Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior over our lives, we give him our rights—because He put aside all of His rights to be the atonement for our sins. Now we belong to Him. We were bought by His precious blood! We give him our human frailties, and ask for the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts and make us a new creature! This way we can have God‘s Holy nature, which is much stronger than our human nature; —the nature that is full of bitterness and anger. And then we can love people and see them the way God sees them. And the Holy Spirit can heal our hearts! And here is something you might not know: God is able to cure even a narcissist! I pray for you, that you can move on and out, away from anger and bitterness and accept your healing, and love like Jesus loves! Please pray for me too!

This sort of thing happens when you have survived narcissistic abuse. So many of us have heard it all before.  Unfortunately, many of us also have internalized the faulty messages, which is unhealthy.

I decided to throw out some thoughts on these comments for your consideration…

Anger is not a sin.  Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.” (AMP)

Even Jesus was angry at people who behaved badly.  Matthew 21:12-13 “12 And Jesus entered the temple [grounds] and drove out [with force] all who were buying and selling [birds and animals for sacrifice] in the temple area, and He turned over the tables of the moneychangers [who made a profit exchanging foreign money for temple coinage] and the chairs of those who were selling doves [for sacrifice]. 13 Jesus said to them, “It is written [in Scripture], ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.'” (AMP)

Discussing abuse isn’t a bad thing or sinful.  Ephesians 4:15 “But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ.” (AMP)

Forgiveness doesn’t mean “forgive & forget.”  While Jesus did suggest we “turn the other cheek,” He also said this which proves that forgiveness doesn’t mean giving someone a free pass to be abusive: Matthew 18: 15-17 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (unbeliever) and a tax collector.” (AMP)

Jesus didn’t tolerate things quietly & spoke openly of wrong doings.  Matthew 3:7 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the [divine] wrath and judgment to come?”  (AMP)
Matthew 12:34 “You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”  (AMP)

By sharing this comment & my thoughts, I’m not trying to “out” the person who made the comment.  If I was, I’d share the person’s name wouldn’t I?  I’m also not being “passive/aggressive” or anything else.  My purpose to this post was simply this:  When a good example of something bad comes along, why not use it to help yourself & others when possible?!

When comments like this are made to a victim of narcissistic abuse, they can sound really good.  Scripture was referred to, which can make any Christian rethink their actions.  I certainly did when I first read it.  After some prayer & thought though, I realized this person twisted Scripture around to use it in a bad way.  And that, Dear Reader, is a very common tactic used by flying monkeys & other narcissists.

If someone says similar things to you that this person said to me, then please, don’t blindly accept it!  You need wisdom & discernment!  Consider the Scriptures used as they are in the Bible, not as a stand alone verse as the person uses them.  Pray.  Ask God to show you the truth.  Think about what makes sense to you.  Trust your instincts too.  If something doesn’t feel quite right, then it most likely isn’t right.  Even the most well meaning people can make mistakes.  And, even the most innocent acting narcissist can be extremely manipulative.

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Should I Go No Contact?

Ending a relationship with anyone is a huge decision, in particular when it comes to family members.  If you read anything about people who are victims of narcissistic abuse, they’re frequently told, “Just go no contact.”

No contact is a very viable option for victims, & usually the best one.  However, it also isn’t an easy solution.  I have yet to talk to one person who has implemented no contact that came to that decision easily.  It often came after months or even years of wondering if there was any other solution & much trying to turn a toxic relationship into a healthy one.

The purpose of this post today is to help you to gain some clarity on whether or not no contact is your best option.

To start with, I always recommend prayer.  Ask God to show you the truth about your relationship, what you should do, how to handle the situation & to give you strength, courage & wisdom to do what is best.

Then, consider your relationship.  There is a difference between someone who is abusive & someone with whom you just don’t get along.  Personality clashes can be very challenging & frustrating, but they also don’t leave a person feeling badly about themselves or even doubting their own sanity.  How does this relationship make you feel?

Are you the only one in the relationship who is trying to make it healthy?  If not, that’s great!  If so, that is a sign this person is toxic.

Does the other person make excuses or blame you for their bad behavior?  Do you come away from a confrontation feeling as if you’re the problem every single time?  That is a huge red flag!  Healthy people accept responsibility for what they do wrong.  They also apologize, try to fix things when possible & change their behavior.

How does the other person react to you setting reasonable boundaries?  Healthy people are fine with boundaries.  Unhealthy people, not so much.  They get angry, pout, behave in passive/aggressive ways, ignore & mock boundaries.

Probably by now, you have more clarity on whether or not you should end the relationship.  If you think you do need to end it, there are other things you should consider too, especially if this person is a family member.

Possibly the most important thing to consider is this.  If you go no contact, will you be able to stay no contact, no matter what?  Going no contact then later resuming a relationship with an abuser never ends well for the victim.  Reason being is abusers see this as a victim having weak boundaries that mean nothing.  They can be trampled over with no real consequences for the abuser.  This means an abuser will behave worse than ever when they understand this.

For your own peace of mind, I also believe it’s important to know you tried your best in the relationship.  No, one person can’t fix any relationship on their own.  However, having peace of mind knowing you did your best is very beneficial.  So many abusers do anything they can to make a victim think they didn’t do enough before severing ties or if they just would have done that one thing, the relationship wouldn’t have failed.  When you truly know you did your best, those sorts of tactics don’t work.

Going no contact also means losing friends & family who side with the abuser.  You need to be aware that will happen, even with those who you never expected to abandon you.

Lastly, what do you feel in your heart is the right move for you to make?  Instincts are a wonderful thing & I believe God’s still small voice speaking to us.  Trust what you feel in your heart, & you’ll know if no contact is the right decision for you.

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Narcissistic In-Laws & The Ex, part 2

 

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The Truth About Being The Bigger Person

Have you ever been discussing the abuse from the narcissist in your life with someone who has told you that you need to be the bigger person & let this go?  I have.  Lots of times.  So have many other victims of all kinds of abuse.

Recently, this came to mind for some reason.  I thought about it & realized that this never felt right to me.  It seemed somehow patronizing, invalidating, manipulative & shaming but I was unsure why I felt that way.  After thinking about it, I think I figured the reasons.

If a victim is told they need to be the bigger person, it’s shaming.  It basically says, “Something is wrong with you for being upset about this! Get over it already!”  Shaming can be utterly devastating to victims of narcissistic abuse.  Nothing can shut down a victim faster than shame, in my opinion.  Saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” is an easy way for someone to stop a victim from discussing their abusive situation & pain.

Some people who have survived abusive relationships absolutely refuse to face their pain.  They ignore it, or even pretend the abuse didn’t happen or that it wasn’t really abusive.  When someone discusses their abusive history, these people are determined to shut them down immediately, because they don’t want any reminders of their own pain.  They may not be acting out of malice as some people do.  They simply don’t have the strength or courage to face their pain.  Telling a victim to be the bigger person is an effective way for them to shut the victim down without sounding harsh.

If the person who says this is also a narcissist, that puts an interesting spin on the situation.  That person probably sees no problem with the abuse, since they act in a similar way.  When the victim points out it’s wrong, that could be offending this narcissist’s sensibilities.  He or she wants to shut down the victim so he or she can go on acting terribly without any remorse.  Not to mention, it’s not about the narcissist, so the narcissist couldn’t care less.  Narcissists also lack empathy, so the narcissist doesn’t want to be bothered with what he or she sees as your petty problems. Or maybe the person could be a flying monkey of the original narcissist, & simply trying to shut the victim down & force the victim to continue to tolerate the awful & abusive behavior from their narcissist.

“You need to be the bigger person!” also shows that the person saying it thinks that the victim has the ability to be mature.  They aren’t saying it to the abuser, after all.  That can be flattering, & as victims, most of us aren’t used to someone believing anything good about us.  It can be a good way for someone to shut down a victim while assuring the victim won’t get angry with the person saying this stupid phrase since it can sound flattering.

I truly believe that someone saying, “You need to be the bigger person!” basically boils down to a way that people try to silence victims by using shaming while simultaneously making victims feel they should not be angry at the person who is attempting to shut them down with this phrase.  And in many cases, the person saying it also is trying to convince the victim to tolerate the abuse.  It’s a lot packed into one phrase, isn’t it?

If someone says this to you, please take it as a red flag!  This person isn’t safe for you to open up to about the abuse that you’ve endured!  Of course you should talk about it not only to help yourself heal but also to help raise awareness of the horrors of narcissistic abuse.  However, not everyone is safe to talk with about your experiences.  Use wisdom in choosing who to open up to.  Anyone who tells you to be the bigger person is NOT someone you need to open up to!

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The Narcissist’s Feelings Are NOT Your Responsibility!

A major pet peeve of mine when it comes to narcissism is how so many people think the victim is responsible for the feelings of the narcissist.  Here are a couple of examples from my life…

  • When my mother’s abuse hit its peak when I was in my late teens, she spent a great deal of time daily screaming at me, telling me how terrible I was.  One afternoon, her friend called.  I answered the phone since my mother was busy.  This person told me how I needed to start ‘behaving myself’, obeying my mother & how lucky I was to have a mother who loved me so much.  I didn’t feel lucky!
  • When I broke my engagement with my ex husband in 1990, everyone who knew us told me I was making him miserable & should get back together with him.  No one cared that I was miserable with him or asked why I even broke up with him.
  • When my father was dying in October, 2017, I can’t even tell you how many people told me I needed to say good bye to him so he could die in peace, I wasn’t honoring my parents, I was a “bad Christian,” I needed to “put my feelings aside” & more nonsense.  Not one person cared why I was no contact with my parents.

Pretty disgusting, isn’t it?  And I know I am far from the only person who has experienced situations like this.  It seems to me every victim of a narcissist has been made to feel responsible for their narcissist’s feelings not only because of the narcissist making them feel this way, but other people too.

Dear Reader, although you may know this already, this is WRONG!  You are absolutely NOT responsible for the narcissist’s feelings any more than you are responsible for any other human being’s feelings.  Each person is responsible for their own, & that includes narcissists.  Even though narcissists often act like spoiled, bratty little kids in adult bodies, they’re still adults & that means that their feelings are their responsibility, not yours.

When faced with people who do their best to make you feel responsible for the feelings of the narcissist in your life, chances are slim you will make them see the error of their thinking.  Probably it will be best for you simply to ignore what they say.  Change the subject, tell them you won’t discuss this topic with them, or ignore their text or email.  Why frustrate yourself trying to change the mind of someone who is determined that their thinking is right while you are absolutely wrong?

If you feel you must say something to the person, treat them as you treat any flying monkey.  Remain calm & don’t let them see that you’re frustrated with them.  You can ask them logical questions too.  “What makes this person’s feelings so much more important than mine?”  “Why are this person’s feelings my responsibility?”  “Other people take responsibility for their own feelings- what makes her exempt from doing that?”  Questions like that may shut the person down because really, there is no reasonable answer to those questions.  Of course, they may try to come up with excuses, such as the infamous, “But that’s your MOTHER/FATHER/etc.!”  If they do, let logic prevail again.  “So you’re saying that because this is my mother/father/etc we’re talking about, that I should be responsible for his/her feelings?”  “You mean that you honestly think I should do ___ to make him/her happy, even knowing how miserable that would make me?  That really makes sense to you?!”

Whenever these situations come up (& they will if you have any relationship at all with a narcissist), be sure to pray about the best way to handle them.  God won’t let you down & He will give you some very creative & effective ways to shut these people down.

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Narcissistic In-Laws & The Ex, part 1

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What Can Happen When Ending A Relationship With A Narcissist

When a relationship ends, the average person is sad for some time.  They may fondly remember special times with the other person or great conversations.  They miss such things, but in time, they’re ok.  They move on & get involved in other relationships.  This is a healthy way to cope, because it allows a person to heal.

Nothing like this happens with narcissists.

Narcissists are incapable of truly loving.  Because of this, a relationship that has ended doesn’t affect them in the same way as it affects your average person..  They don’t miss the person they love, but instead, they miss their favorite source of narcissistic supply.  This is why they act differently than functional people when a relationship ends.  Narcissistic supply is like a drug to them.  When a relationship ends, they’re losing their “fix”, if you will.  That isn’t an easy thing for any addict to handle.

To start with, narcissists don’t usually understand why someone ends a relationship with them.  To understand, they would need at least some empathy, which most people know is something that all narcissists lack.  They don’t understand why their ex would object to them cheating, why that former friend complained that they took advantage of their good nature, or why their adult child was hurt when they cut their child out of the will for simply telling the parent, “no.”  Narcissists are incapable of grasping such concepts.  In their minds, they’re entitled to whatever they want.  Besides, the behavior didn’t hurt them, so it isn’t important to them.  If it had hurt them, they’d change their behavior at the speed of sound.  Since it didn’t though, they are left baffled why their partner, friend or child ended the relationship. What the other person wanted or felt wasn’t so much as a blip on their radar.  All that matters to a narcissist is what they want, which usually boils down to their precious narcissistic supply.  Since the wants of the narcissist & victim are vastly different & the victim’s are not even considered by the narcissist, usually the end of a relationship catches them by surprise.  Their victims often warn them for months or even years in advance that they won’t tolerate the abuse forever, yet still, narcissists are shocked when someone ends a relationship with them.

Narcissists also don’t like rejection.  No one does, of course, but narcissists are infuriated by it.  Rejection is a narcissistic injury.  It makes them feel badly about themselves, so the person who rejected them must pay for making them feel that way.  Rather than walk away from the failed relationship with some semblance of dignity, most narcissists opt for revenge.  Overt narcissists often harass & stalk their victim, & get their flying monkeys in on the process as well.  They also will unleash a very impressive smear campaign, lying about the victim being the cause for the failure of the relationship because of being selfish, crazy, controlling & even abusive.  This often isolates the victim from friends & even family who believe the lies.  Covert narcissists are much less likely to harass & stalk their victim, since they prefer to look like a good person, but some will or have their flying monkeys do their dirty work for them.  They also don’t have any trouble creating a smear campaign, but it is much different than their overt counterparts.  Rather than say outright their victim is crazy & abusive, they phrase their smear campaign in a way so as not to sound critical, but concerned instead.  They may say something along the lines of, “I’m not surprised my ex left me.  She got so mean when she took drugs.  She just wasn’t herself.  I hope she’ll be ok…”  See how this smear is?  It makes the person saying these things sound concerned & as if he isn’t trying to destroy the reputation of his ex girlfriend.  People will believe this type of smear campaign very easily, even if they know the ex in question & know she never took drugs.

There is also the likelihood of the narcissist trying to “hoover” the victim back into the relationship.  When this happens, the narcissist may do their best to make the victim believe they have changed.  They may make promises that they have no intention of keeping such as they won’t do whatever the victim complained about anymore.  Some other empty promises are if the victim would only take the narcissist back, he or she will be faithful, they’ll be less selfish, they’ll think more of their victim’s needs.  The narcissist also may shower the victim with expensive gifts or love letters.  They may send their flying monkeys to tell the victim how miserable they are without the victim, & how desperately they want to resume the relationship.  This is a tough one, I know.  When I first broke up with my now ex husband, it seemed like everyone we knew was telling me how sad he was, how miserable he was, how much he missed me & how I really should get back together with him.  I felt so incredibly guilty at that time that I agreed not only to return to him but to marry him after only a short time apart.

Sometimes, narcissists fall into depression after a relationship ends, too.  They have no coping skills & aren’t fully aware of their emotions, plus they just lost their narcissistic supply.  It’s normal they wouldn’t handle any break up well when you consider these facts.  This can be so hard for the person who ended the relationship.  When people tell you how sad this person is or he says he doesn’t want to live without you, it can be incredibly hard to take.  It can make you feel incredibly guilty & responsible, which is truly unfair.

If you experience these things after ending a relationship with a narcissist, I urge you to remember that the narcissist is acting this way not out of a genuine & healthy love for you, but because he or she is a narcissist.  They are incredibly dysfunctional people.  You stick to no contact, & remind yourself often exactly why you came to that decision.  Write things down if it helps, since writing can be an incredibly useful tool.  Also remember that person’s emotions aren’t your responsibility.   Don’t forget to document everything in case you need to involve the law at some point.  Even if you don’t, the documentation will help you a great deal to remember why you’re no contact.  It’ll also help you to see the way this person tries to manipulate you.  And, if the narcissist creates a smear campaign against you, never, ever react to it.  Any reaction would give this person narcissistic supply, so you deprive this person of that supply.  In time, he or she will get bored with your lack of reaction & give up the smearing.  Lastly, if the narcissist sends the flying monkeys after you, remember that few are truly innocent people who are fooled by the narcissist.  Most are also narcissists, I believe.  Treat them accordingly.  Remember to tell them nothing that you would object to the original narcissist knowing, in particular anything about the original narcissist.  Chances are the flying monkey will share everything you say with that person, so give them no material to work with.  Most importantly, pray & lean on God to help you get through this.  He truly will help you!

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Seeing Through The Lens Of Victim-hood

When a person has been abused, they tend to see the world differently than other folks.  People like this aren’t as trusting as the average person, & with good reason.  They have survived some pretty terrible stuff!  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering how many untrustworthy people there are in the world.  However, it can become a bad thing.  A good friend of mine once called it “seeing things through the lens of victim-hood.”  I thought the term made perfect sense.

When a person sees others as out to hurt them with little or no evidence to prove this is happening, it’s a bad thing.

Or when a person reads so much into every small comment or action that they see others as out to get them, this is a bad thing.

Unfortunately, it can be very easy to turn out this way after surviving abuse. It can be especially easy to see problems online over face to face contact.  Once you’ve been badly hurt, you obviously want to avoid it again.  It’s very easy to become hyper-vigilant, seeing abusive behavior everywhere.  A person looks at you a bit odd or cracks a joke that isn’t like your sense of humor & suddenly you think they’re out to hurt you when nothing could be further from the truth.  This is no way to live!

Rather than succumb to this miserable lifestyle, change yourself!  It is possible!  I was this way & managed to change.  If I can do it, so can you.

As always, I recommend prayer as the place to start.  God can & will help you to make whatever changes you need.  He also will show you what you need to do.  Why not let Him?

Also slow down when a situation happens.  Respond, don’t react.  Responding isn’t instantaneous.  It requires time to consider the situation.  Reacting is instantaneous & done in the heat of emotions.  Reacting often happens when seeing situations through the lens of victim-hood.  Give yourself time to consider the situation before you respond.

Don’t automatically assume that your knee-jerk reaction is correct.  Consider it.  Question it.  Slow your thoughts down for some time & ask yourself why you think the way you’re thinking.  Is there evidence to back up what you believe is happening?  What is that evidence?  Are there red flags that show you this person isn’t safe, such as a lack of empathy for example?  Write it down if it helps.  Writing can help you to see things clearly, often more clearly than speaking or thinking about things.

Think too about the person in question.  If this is someone you know well, you will know what this person is & is not capable of.  You know if this person is safe or not.  Ask yourself, is it likely this person is out to hurt me or not?

If you want advice, don’t talk to someone else about the situation in a way that will get them assuming the worst about this person.  If they believe you, they will only feed your fear.  They’ll automatically respond to your fear with fear, especially if this is someone you’re close to.  If you want to talk about your situation with someone safe, that’s totally fine.  An objective opinion can be a truly great thing!  Just make sure you say things in such a way that the person who you’re speaking with can form their own opinion.  Say things like, “I think this person is looking to hurt me in some way.. what do you think?”  then state the facts without emotion.  Let this person form their own opinion if you want their best advice.

Just remember, Dear Reader, not everyone is abusive.  Not everyone wants to cause you pain & suffering.  Pray & seriously consider the situation so you can respond to it appropriately, rather than reacting because you’re seeing it through the lens of victim-hood.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Narcissistic Grandparents

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Accepting Your Parent Is A Covert Narcissist

I remember when I first realized that my mother was a narcissist.  Although it was painful, I was glad finally to understand why she treated me as she did.  The raging, the silent treatments, the manipulation & control.. suddenly it all made sense.  She blamed me for all of it, but the truth was it wasn’t me.  It was her!

It was another few years before I realized my father was a narcissist as well.  It took me so long because he was a covert narcissist.

My mother being an overt narcissist made it obvious something wasn’t right.  Normal mothers didn’t keep their daughters from getting to know their extended family.  They also didn’t scream at their teenage daughters daily, often multiple times in a day.  They didn’t accuse their daughters of completely uncharacteristic behaviors, such as having sex with their entire high school football team, especially when there was no evidence to support this wild claim.

My father was nothing like this at all.  For most of my life, I was convinced he was my one nice, normal parent.  I was wrong.

While my father didn’t scream at me or accuse me of outrageous behaviors, he abused me nonetheless.  He didn’t protect me from my mother.  In fact, when I told him of some of her abusive behaviors, he would tell me how hard this was on him, & how there was nothing he could do to protect me.  In spite of my pain, I often ended up comforting him after my mother abused me.

Compared to my mother’s constant criticisms & rages, I didn’t think this was a problem.  He told me he loved me, unlike my mother who stopped saying it when I was in my teens.  My father also complemented me, & bragged about me to other people.  My mother didn’t do either.

As an adult, married with my own home, I finally noticed some subtle changes in my father’s behavior.  He became critical.  Nothing obvious like my mother at first, but still critical.  He became more critical over the years.  He also became more controlling in subtle ways.  If I didn’t answer his call immediately, the next time we spoke, he would tell me how he thought I must be mad at him since I didn’t answer the phone.  If I said I wasn’t home at the time, he didn’t believe me.  Or, he would call folks we both knew, asking them to contact me & have me call him immediately because he was worried about me.

Eventually, I realized my father was a covert narcissist, & that fact truly hurt.

My situation is quite similar to that of many adult children of narcissistic parents.  Accepting the overtly narcissistic parent is abusive is difficult, but it can be done.  Accepting their covertly narcissistic parent is abusive is a much more difficult task, & can be impossible for some people.

The nature of a covert narcissist’s abuse is what makes the abuse so hard to comprehend.  There is no obvious abuse.  They don’t hit or scream.  Their abuse is so much more subtle.  They use guilt, disapproval, silence & portraying themselves as innocent, naive, in need of saving or protection.  They also can turn a situation around to where they look like the innocent victim instead of the abuser, rather than the other way around as it should be.

This creates a cognitive dissonance in victims.  In other words, the victim often may see the truth, but doesn’t want to accept it because it’s so painful.

There is also the fact that it’s hurtful enough to accept that one parent didn’t love you.  Accepting both parents didn’t is even more so.  Even when you understand it’s because they’re narcissists, knowing both of your parents didn’t love you can make you feel unlovable.

If this describes your situation, I’m so sorry, Dear Reader.  You are in an extremely painful situation.  Pray, journal, talk to safe people… do whatever you have to do to help you face this ugly truth & to heal.  It will help you in the long run to face this awful situation.  You can do this!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

A Suggestion For Getting Rid Of A Narcissist

In a recent conversation, I’ve come to realize something that may help at least some of you who follow my work.

The conversation was with someone who is involved with a very covert narcissist.  She has broken off their relationship months ago, but he continues to call & to try to hoover her back in.  She has wanted to tell him to stop calling her, but hasn’t.  Based on some of his past controlling behavior, she & I both believe that he is one of those narcissists who would harass & stalk her.  She knows what that’s like, having gone through it with me at the hands of a narcissist I went no contact with several years ago, so she wants to avoid that if at all possible, & understandably so!

Rather than face the probability of stalking & harassment, she has opted to use the Gray Rock method, in the hopes that her ex will lose all interest in her.  So far, it has worked pretty well.  He no longer calls her daily, only a few times a week.  This is big progress!  Even so, she still wants rid of him completely.

As we talked, I had a thought that I think might work well for her, & it might benefit some of you as well..

Obviously, he is losing interest in her, which is why he isn’t calling so often.  Now might be a good time to give him some narcissistic turn offs.   She is great with not providing narcissistic supply, but I suggested she also try to take some from him using ways that aren’t bad enough to provoke rage.  Turn offs, basically.

One thing that he wants her to do to provide him with supply are always look good.  Dress well, makeup done.. things like this.  When he sees her, I suggested she dress frumpy.  Wear sweats & no makeup.  Also never call him since that can make him think she is still interested in him thus providing narcissistic supply.  He likes to go out or travel, so she will make a point of exaggerating her naturally introverted & home body ways.  She can talk about how glad she is to be at home & have nowhere to be for the weekend, things like this.

Little things like this can be explained away easily, like she just wanted to be comfortable which is why sweats & no make up.  This means they most likely won’t bring about a narcissistic rage, especially considering he is trying to behave so she will come back to him.  But, these things don’t provide supply, they also are big turn offs & they will get under his skin.  At some point, he is going to get sick of her lack of supply & my guess is he will discard her.  The good part of this is that if he discards her, he thinks ending the relationship is all his idea, so he won’t stalk or harass her.  He will leave her alone.

I did mention that if she does this & he discards her, he’ll probably do the smear campaign thing.  She said she really doesn’t care what people think of her, so thankfully that isn’t going to be a problem for her.

Dear Reader, I don’t know your situation with your particular narcissist, so obviously I can’t say making the narcissist want to discard you is your answer if you’re having trouble going no contact.  Only you know if this will work for you.  I urge you to pray & seriously consider it though.  So many narcissists, after a victim has gone no contact, harass their victims in real life, over the phone & on social media.  Others who are more covert do the same but with less hostility than their overtly narcissistic counterparts.  They claim just to want answers, promise they’ll change, use guilt or portray themselves as the victim as they harass the true victim.  If this awful behavior can be avoided or even just minimized by acting this way, then isn’t it worth considering at least?

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism